Reimar Servas

Designer, developer, consultant and teacher — specialized in design systems and art direction for digital products.

What I Do

Designing Systems

My core strength is my systematic approach of design. Instead of treating design jobs as a sum of isolated tasks, I aim for creating an inventory of composable and interchangeable parts to form a greater, wholesome system. This applies to any software or website but also brand design, expanding into print, even hardware, copywriting, … . Welcomed side effects are usually greater performance through less code as well as more consistency and clarity — benefits for both, users and creators.

Teaching & Consulting

Teaching is an important aspect of my work. I held several in-house workshops at design and development companies and since 2013 I am teaching a four-semester course on Interaction Design with emphasis on Human Centered Design and Psychology for Designers at the Berlin-based School for Games. In 2016/17 I taught programming with Scratch to younger kids (age 8–12) at Haba Digitalwerkstatt.

Projects

This is a brief collection of work samples from the last few years. More in-depth case studies might follow …

Juviu

Idea, concept and prototypes for ad-hoc contextual interfaces. Juviu uses image-recognition and aditional sensor data to activate interfaces once you place a device on certain surfaces. It’s perfect to enhance print media. Turn still images into videos. Update info graphics with real-time data and make them interactive. Join online discussions for a printed article. Turn code examples in textbooks into interactive code. All image above are stills from the concept video.

I was responsible for the overall concept, prototyping, branding & art direction, UX/UI design and I directed the concept video. Most of the work took place during a 5-day-sprint for which I gathered a small team of freelancers. We had a damn good time.

Career & Qualification

Current Position

My current employment is team lead at Yoshino, a Berlin-based company specialized in digital product development and design for health care related brands. In 2017/18 I was asked to build and lead their small interdisciplinary team of developers and designers. On a typical day, you find me switching between art direction, UX design, team management, frontend development and occasionally running performance reviews or job interviews.

Work Experience

Before Yoshino, I was working freelance. My jobs varied between design- and frontend-development gigs. Among my clients were mostly large agencies and sometimes Berlin-based startups. I was involved in projects for companies and brands like Volkswagen, BMW, MTV Networks, EMI Music, German and Swiss Television Channels (ARD, ZDF, Pro7, Sat1, SF), Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, eBay … and possibly more. However I dicovered that working for smaller clients usually came with more resposibility and impact on the overall project. I must say I mostly preferred that.

Skills

  • In-depth knowledge of professional layout/design software like Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator etc.
  • Eye for clean, well-executed typography and layout
  • Frontend Development veteran since the late 1990’s, fluent with HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Focussed on designing component-based systems (with or without frameworks like Vue or React)
  • Proficient with related tools, preprocessors/transpilers and frameworks like LESS, SASS, NPM, Webpack and what not
  • Good knowledge of programming theory, able to get stuff done in many languages, eg. PHP, C, BASH
  • Confident and enthusiastic speaker/presenter
  • Experienced teacher and mentor
  • Skilled team lead, experienced with planning and running job interviews, performance reviews, recource management, strategic meetings, motivation tactics, etc.

Languages

My first language is German. I am fluent in speaking and writing English. Mon français est nul.

Education

I hold a diploma in design (2006, University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and I am a certified teacher for adult education (2017, AZAV, Germany).

Personal

My job has always been very satisfying, enabling me to combine knowledge from so many fields of interest. I am somewhat skilled in woodworking, electronics, a bit of audio engineering and I always enjoy to learn about behavioral psychology, linguistics, politics, history, modern art and literature. One of my main drives is understanding and fixing stuff. The joy I gain from repairing an old but well-built thing often beats the experience from buying something new. This influences my work as well. I value sustainability, scalability, great documentation and I care for details.

However … and as corny as it may sound … music has always been my greatest passion. My most recent is a dark wave band in which I sing, write the lyrics and play bass guitar. Since the very first time I heard the early tunes from Bauhaus, Joy Division, the Cure, etc. I was fascinated by the raw power and expression of such minimalist yet athmosperic music. Artists of the early, diverse Post-Punk era seemed to be obsessed with the same problem: How much can you stylisticly strip down, yet still achieve a maximum effect? The fascination for this approach never really left me.

Reimar Servas

Reimar (admittedly weird pose)

Photo by C. Kryl